He wants you badly

Writer: Raul Inglis
Director: Jeffery Scott Lando

Goblin is a 2010 low budget TV movie so I wasn’t expecting much. Turns out it’s not at all bad.

The film begins on October 31st 1831, with the village of Hollowglen holding its annual cleansing ceremony at which everything unclean is burnt. This year one of the unclean things is… a new born baby, described as a “misshapen, diseased abomination”. What the villagers don’t know is that the baby’s mother is a witch who promptly curses the village; every year a demon (the ‘goblin’ – actually six foot tall with long, sharp claws and teeth!) will appear at Halloween and no child in the village will be safe.

Fast forward to the present day and October 30th. We have a family arriving in Hollowglen with their teenage daughter, her best friend and… of course… a six month old baby.

From there on things proceed pretty much as expected, complete with a local drunk who’s the only one who knows how to remove the curse. There’s plenty of weird-small-town atmosphere and some good support characters. When things get slow Cammy (Erin Boyes) flashes enough leg and cleavage to stop the guys switching channels (which isn’t to say she can’t also act).

Acting is generally good (especially Chilton Crane who is superb as Bea) and direction competent if uninspired. The film is shot with a slightly shaky camera which feels like an affectation. It’s enough to be irritating but not enough to make the thing unwatchable. The ‘goblin’ itself is rarely seen, most of the time it’s just a figure with sharp teeth hidden under a sheet.

And after a by-the-numbers first two acts the story drops in an infodump plus plot device… then manages to veer in an interesting and unexpected direction for the final confrontation.

Goblin isn’t particularly original and will never rate as a classic but it’s a lot better than I expected and worth a watch.